Monday, April 30, 2012

My Date with Dr. Todd

I woke up in a fit of excitement this morning knowing I was going to see Dr. Todd.  He specializes in treating running injuries and I've read so many great things about him.  Angela actually begged me to go and paid for this initial visit because she is so desperate for me to stop whining about my injury.  How could I say no?  Luckily, Dr. Todd seemed to understand the plight of a poor non-profit employee and cut me a great deal, waiving the exam fee.  Our first date was off to a great start!

As soon as I entered the exam room the power went out.  I was momentarily disappointed because I thought I might be forced to reschedule.  Luckily, Dr. Todd saw no reason not to move forward.  He pulled out a flashlight and we proceeded with the mood lighting.  He did some ART (Active Release Techniques) on my foot and calf, which hurt like heck.  ART is the gold standard in soft tissue treatment, and I have always been curious about it.  I've heard that it hurts, but it works.

Dr. Todd eventually moved on and performed several little neurological tests where he would push down on a limb and I was supposed to push against him. Sometimes I could easily withstand his pushing, and with some muscles I couldn't find the strength.  He explained that this wasn't sheer muscle weakness, it is partially neurological.  He used low level light therapy to activate the nerves associated with those muscles and did the test again.  I was able to push against him this time around.  Weird?  Yes, I think so, but apparently they use this light therapy on olympic athletes, so what the heck!  Laser away.  Runner's World had an article about this type of therapy and how it can be helpful in dealing with Plantar Fasciitis, click here to read it. 

Dr. Todd continued with some more ART and a few adjustments.  He then taped my foot up and sent me on my way.  He spent nearly an hour with me, something an average doctor would never do.  I am lucky if I get 5 minutes with a doctor through my insurance plan. I was very impressed with the success stories I've read from Dr. Todd's patients, and I am hoping I am one of them.  He has his patients save their bibs from races they've run after being treated by him.  They sign them and he hangs them around his office.  Hopefully, one day there is a bib from my next marathon hanging on his wall.

Some people leave his office feeling major relief within one visit.  I wouldn't say I am one of those people, but I think I will definitely benefit from some more ART.   It looks like Dr. Todd is getting a second date.  :)